Lifespan Religious Exploration News

Dedicated to educating our fellow members and greater community about how to help our Earth be healthier by living greener and healthier lives.

Jan 2018

Teri Lucas Joins RE Staff


Teri will begin on January 2, 2018. Her professional work experience has been in higher education admissions in New York City where she was Director of Admissions at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music for 17 years. After moving back to Los Angeles in 2011, she was the Director of Admissions at Union Institute and University and the Cornel School of Contemporary Music.

Teri has her own consulting business, “Fashion & Fitness.” She has taught Healthy Eating classes in New York and at the Santa Monica and Glendale YMCAs. She is currently embarking on a new project with Jodi Shannahan, whom she met at UUSM. They will be offering classes and groups on mindful eating and behavior changes that help us to reach our goals.

Teri recently returned from seven months in Vietnam where she volunteered at the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation working with children and families. In Saigon she taught English, and worked with women on issues of health and healthy eating.

Teri has been attending our church services for a few months now and has been involved in Adult Exploration offerings as well. She has already made friends and connections here and even attended a second Sunday Supper. She is interested in the exploration of religion and spirituality and is looking to apply her talents and abilities in the creative environment of UUSM.

The work that Teri will be doing involves registration, record keeping, publication of materials, communication, and organization. You may also see Teri some Sundays as she will be covering for the RE Director occasionally. Thank you all who have been donating matching funds to our Spirit Grant that has allowed us to hire Teri. Please keep it coming so we can continue!

Kathleen Hogue

Adult RE Offerings for January 2018

“An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are”
This on-going, twice a month class is presented to help participants master specific meditation skills. We endeavor to answer the questions: Who am I? (attitudes and beliefs) and What am I? (Essence or True Nature). This class will include meditations which explore participants’ spiritual goals. The bi-monthly group meetings will also focus on insights gained throughout the month. It is expected that participants have a regular meditation practice. Location: TBD on day of meditation

When: First and Third Sundays (January 7, January 21)
Time: 9:30 to 10:45 am Contact
Facilitator: Bill Blake 

“Open Meditation” Group
You are cordially invited to a new meditation group called “Open Meditation.” Whether you are a beginner who is just curious about meditation or whether you have been meditating for many years, you are welcome. Meditation at its root is a natural and deeply human practice. We are not teaching a particular form of meditation or doctrine. You don’t need to know anything, do any particular activity or believe in anything. We will have brief readings, two 20-minute periods of sitting with walking meditation, and time for journaling and sharing. You can drop in when it serves you, or come regularly. If you are late, just come in quietly and join us. If you have questions, speak with either Beverly Shoenberger or Carol Ring at coffee hour.

Location: Forbes Hall
When: Friday, January 19th
Time: 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Contact Facilitators: Carol Ring, and Beverly Shoenberger

“Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism”
Join me as we read and discuss this new and remarkable little volume of provocative, inspiring, and heart-warming essays that just might challenge your view of Humanism whether you consider yourself a Humanist or not. Contributors include luminaries of Secular Humanism and Unitarian Universalism such as Edd Doerr, Michael Werner, Chris Stedman, Rev. David Bumbaugh, Rev. Kendyl Gibbons, and Rev. William Murry.

“In this highly anticipated collection, Unitarian Universalist Humanists present their faith perspectives in 23 engaging and thought-provoking essays. The contributors, both lay and ordained, demonstrate why Humanism has been one of the bedrock theologies of Unitarian Universalism for the last hundred years. They reflect on what it means to be a religious Humanist today and how they see the movement evolving in the twenty-first century. They explore Humanist history, beliefs, approach to life, social justice, community, and religious education. Together, these voices proclaim a passionate affirmation of a rich and dynamic tradition within Unitarian Universalism.”

We’ll meet for 3-4 sessions beginning the third week of January. Dates and times will be decided by the group. Sign up and purchase the book at the Adult RE table and/or contact James Witker.

James Witker

New Offerings for February - Sneak Peek

Ethics Meets the 5th UU Principle: Build Your Own Theology
Over two workshops, we have focused on eight dimensions of moral decision-making: authority, motivation, responsibility, situation, intention, relationships, values, and character. In this workshop, we strive to discuss the 5th Principle of Unitarian Universalism in the context of these dimensions. The 5th Principle stresses the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. Let us explore this principle in the context of the elements of moral decision-making – both in the abstract, and in specific scenarios generated by Build your Own Theology’s (BYOT’s) author, as well as in coverage and interpretations of current events, and workshop participants! Don’t worry if you have not participated in past BYOT Ethics workshops – the only prerequisite for this gathering is interest.

Facilitator Leon Henderson-MacLennan
Scheduled for February: Date, Time, and Location TBD

“Can We Make Room Enough for Love?”
Last summer a sermon by guest speaker Ian Dodd called “Can We Make Room Enough for Love?” which explored the roots of romantic love and both ancient and modern alternatives to our society’s traditional views of loving relationships, provoked a wide variety of reactions, questions and comments from the UUSM community.

In response, Ian and his wife Margot Page and Beth Rendeiro, UUSM’s OWL coordinator, will be facilitating a one-day workshop where participants will be able to explore their questions, cultural overlays, attitudes, and assumptions about love, loving relationships, marriage and monogamy, and how we can “stand on the side of love” with people whose relationships don’t fit the societal norms, or even how people in non-mainstream relationships can feel empowered to “come out” in their communities, including their church community. Be prepared for a day of critically examining your ideas, learning from others, and maybe being exposed to a wider variety of love and loving relationships than you ever considered before. Come share your views and experiences with others in a safe, intimate atmosphere of inquiry and support.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for “Can We Make Room Enough for Love?”, a day of looking at love and contemporary relationships, Saturday, February 10, 9 am to 3 pm, in Forbes Hall. Contact Ian Dodd or Beth Rendeiro for more information.